Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tristan Donovan

Tristan Donovan is a British author and journalist. His books include Replay: The History of Video Games and Fizz: How Soda Shook Up the World. His writing has appeared in BBC News Online, The Atlantic, The Times of London, Stuff, Wired, The Guardian, Eurogamer, and Kotaku, among other publications.

Donovan's newest book is It's All a Game: The History of Board Games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Donovan's reply:
I’ve just finished reading Jonathan Taplin’s Move Fast and Break Things.

It’s a nonfiction book and examines how the web has gone from being this exciting, utopian beacon of hope to a nightmare of hate mobs, intrusive advertising, and domineering corporations like Google and Facebook invading our privacy.

Taplin does a good job of clearly charting how we ended up here. From the cynical attempts of tech companies to dismantle the protections of copyright law to how social media has undermined the quality and trustworthiness of news and empowered online hate mobs.

It’s familiar criticism, but no less powerful or important for that. However, Taplin’s remedies to the problems he identifies aren’t nearly as convincing - not least his call for the US to create a tax-funded broadcaster modelled on the BBC, which seems about as likely to catch on as chocolate teapots.

But sometimes it’s nice to read a book that reaffirms what you think is wrong with the world, right?
Visit Tristan Donovan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue